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Author Topic: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions  (Read 2360 times)

Luke Geis

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #20 on: July 30, 2018, 06:18:52 pm »

The not so nice way to describe your system is that it is:

A. Antiquated and in dire need of rehabilitation and updates.

B. Not set up to the best standards and practices we have come to find.

C. Makes us cringe to look at.

The nice way to get where you want is to start from zero. You have an excellent learning platform here. This type of system is great for learning on, because it will give you every single issue that you need to learn how to deal with. It will easily show where things are wrong and give you nearly instant feedback on if your correction worked or not.

I think it is more important at this point to use this wonderful theory called the K.I.S.S theory. Keep It Simple Stupid....... You're not stupid, at all, but the theory simply means keep things as simple as they can be to reduce needless steps and processes that simply complicate things. In your case I would just spend lots of time reading this forum about the subjects of interest and watching lots of youtube video's that again are about the topic of interest. What you will find is that after reading and watching 10 articles or video's of the same thing, an obvious solution to your query will arise. If you read 10 different threads about a subject and there are 7 answers that are identical, that is likely the correct answer. If you watch 10 video's on a particular topic and again 7 have the same answer, that is likely the correct answer. There will always be some outliers, but the answer that comes up most often is typically the right one.

I am a big fan of the " if it ain't broke, don't fix it " type category. If it works fine the way it is, then why bother trying to fix it. Listen first, asses and then using your experience and knowledge, determine if a corrective adjustment is needed or not. If your assessment shows no need for change, then no change is needed. In your case, I would simply take some really good notes about the current setup and then remove the plastic shield of shame and reset everything to zero. Then you could at the very least listen to the system without processing and hear for yourself what is going on. If anything, you can always reset things back to the old settings.

As to directly answer your query, I would give up on the whole idea of using groups. You are likely not filling up all 32 channels just for the band and any change that needs to be made for even a large group of channels is something that is easy enough. I don't consider 7 channels to be a large group. I can put up to 10 fingers on as many channels and make a mix change. I would consider a large group to be anything greater than 10 channels. If you really want to use all 7 mics on the drums, then by all means do so, but it will not necessarily make the drum mix any better. Less is typically more in all honesty. If you can't make even just one mic sound good, making 7 sound good will be a real challenge. You hear us talk about mic technique, and the basis for that term is the ability to place a mic to get the sound you want and be able to eq it to sound even better. It is a result that stems from experience and seat time listening. Good mic technique does most of the work for you, if you don't have good mic technique, then having 7 badly placed and wrongly applied mic's is an effort in futility.

Here is a number of do's and don'ts.

1. Less is more. Utilize the shortest path from A-Z that you can. Don't try to alter that path with processing and components you are not familiar with. Keep it simple.

2. If you have to cut more than 6 bands of EQ something else is wrong. EQ is a tool meant to solve a problem, not shape the world. Following point #1) less is more.

3. Mic technique is the ability to get the sound you want from the instrument by utilizing good mic placement and EQ. Mic placement is key in this regard. Get the mic to pick up what you want and how it sounds first and lastly apply EQ to flavor the sound so it fits in the mix. Again less is more. You don't have to have a 16 channel mic group on a drum kit to get an awesome sound.

4. Listen first. This is probably the most important of all. Listen to what you are hearing and critically asses it. What is wrong with it? What is your goal with it? Is what you hear in line with the reality of what your working with: I.E. is the room, or other contributing factor a result of the sound? After assessing, is there anything you can do that will actually change the result?

5. Know your instruments. It helps a lot to have some musical knowledge. The fundamental frequencies, timbre and how to structure a mix around that is VERY helpful. Part of knowing your instruments is also knowing what the frequencies you're hearing are. If you catch a feedback ring at 1khz, would you be able to recognize that. If you can recognize frequencies, you can also recognize how to EQ and adjust instruments to fit into a more ideal frequncy range. You don't want acoustic guitars putting out significant energy below 80hz, this is unnatural and counter productive to a mix. Knowing how to determine the frequencies and relate their relative energy levels really helps create both good mixes and eliminate problems before they start.
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David Kulick

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2018, 05:14:19 pm »

Some of it is art (making it sound better) but some is science (elimination of feedback). You can do the second one with a basic RTA app on a tablet, iPad or smart phone.

Didn't know about them. So there's Octave, Audio Kit, RTA (by Andrew Smith) and probably many others. Which one will tell me how to fix all the problems by pressing a button? Or at least give a novice something useful to look at. I'm not really worried about feedback (I guess I should be) because I thought that if you have the mikes aimed away from speakers and monitors it won't be a problem. It hasn't been an issue since I've become involved the last year or two.

A few things....

Those like JBL Cabaret series cabinets for the mains, not really sure what the sub is.
To the best of my knowledge the Cabaret cabinets were not equipped with hardware to be flown and by the looks of the really small looking dog chain that appears to be holding them I guessing they were not properly "modified" to be flown.

Are the Klipsch speakers just setting on the corner shelves?
It looks like they are hanging over the front edge of the shelf.

I think you need to get someone in there who truly knows how to go through a system mic input to speaker, wire by wire, test the speakers, figure out what is going on, how it's truly put together and then make the needed changes.

If the rigging is what it looks like some companies will not touch the speakers unless they can do the rigging correctly.

I'll check the Klipsch, but I don't think they're hanging over the edge. Do you have someone in Palm Beach or Broward that you would recommend? We don't have much of a budget but I'll pay out of my pocket for someone who can help out.

Supposedly the guy who set it up is still around and I can hire him for an hour or two. More if necessary. But between the rigging and the EQ I suspect that I might want a second opinion.

And yes, they are supposed to be VERY heavy. It was apparently a monster job to get them up there in the first place.


« Last Edit: July 31, 2018, 10:32:01 pm by David Kulick »
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David Kulick

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2018, 10:29:52 pm »

The not so nice way to describe your system is that it is:
...

Thanks Luke, there's a lot there. I'm reminded of occams razor; the simplest answer is usually the correct one. I'm sort of surprised to think of the system as antiquated since the board is only a few years old. But the speakers and their placement is well older than the system.

I'm also surprised about the EQ on the monitors. EQ on the mains makes sense since that's the sound that's bouncing around the hall, but the monitors should only be audible on the stage and I'd think it should be fairly simple. Testing these things is tough though without someone actually playing.

We did a drum test over the weekend. Basic drum kit, only one tom and one floor tom, kick, snare, cymbals. Set up the mikes on the drums, all pointing away from the other sound sources and used four overheads (talk about overkill). We used the two condenser mikes that came with the kit (those use phantom power), and I put an SM57 right next to each of those. I just wanted to hear the difference between the two sets of mikes.

I couldn't really hear much of a difference. I'm not even sure how to describe the difference - the 57s were maybe a bit brighter. Nothing that really is going to matter.

The whole drum mike setup was likely overkill. The drums are so loud by themselves that I put on headphones so I could hear them clearly through the system. Of course with the rest of a band playing, that will be a different story. I did test them running straight into L/R and then turned that off and set them to group 1 and sent that to L/R and it made no difference at all except that there was one master volume control for the drums.

We'll do a real run-through on Thursday. I know a guy who plays in a band and they were going to do a rehearsal Thursday so they'll do it in our theater and we'll get to set the whole thing up without the pressure of a crowd building up outside. I'll have some of my friends hang out and we'll figure out what sounds good. Should be both fun and educational.

As for the equalizers, I don't think I need to reset everything. Take a good photo or two, or a nice video, just in case, but I've never played with an equalizer that didn't have a bypass button. I can't tell from the photo and I'm too lazy tonight to go to the theater and look, but I'm pretty sure that I'll just have to press the bypass button. I'll do that Thursday for sure.

One thing that concerns me is that the sound in the booth is pretty bad, and it's the main reason I would have liked a digital board. I'd far prefer to be in a seat on the floor running the board than where I have to be, but I have to live with it. At least on Thursday they'll be time to walk around and listen to things in a relaxed manner.
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Luke Geis

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #23 on: August 01, 2018, 02:35:07 am »

The EQ's, amps, speakers are very much old tech. The Mixer may be new, but It was a model I was looking at getting about 10-15 years ago when it was a newer release. The mixer is OLD TECH. That is not a bad thing at all, just a frame of reference. You have a perfect learning platform.
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Scott Holtzman

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #24 on: August 01, 2018, 02:46:08 am »

I know it sounds extreme and seems overwhelming however setting those EQ's is not a big task.  On a given night a small show will have 10 stems to eq and delay.  Old settings dont matter.  Instruments, mics, temperature will all be different so what good are the old eq settings?

There is no right or wrong, EQ is a tool to achieve a result.

The baseline you have jas no value.  The sooner you discard it the fastet your can begin your journey.

BTW insist the rigging is fixed on the mains.



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Patrick Tracy

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #25 on: August 01, 2018, 03:04:30 am »

One thing that concerns me is that the sound in the booth is pretty bad, and it's the main reason I would have liked a digital board. I'd far prefer to be in a seat on the floor running the board than where I have to be, but I have to live with it. At least on Thursday they'll be time to walk around and listen to things in a relaxed manner.

Doing sound from a booth sucks. It's just the wrong perspective from which to mix. Get out and walk the room when you can to get a sense of the difference between the booth sound and the room sound so you can try to compensate.

Mike Caldwell

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #26 on: August 01, 2018, 09:24:49 am »

Your mixer is a good, solid analog mixer, don't base the quality or your entire system on just the mixer since it is the newest piece.

Your system still needs gone through, every input to output all the way up to the speakers just to see how it's really configured, what is working, what is kind of working, what is dead and the rigging.

 

David Kulick

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #27 on: August 02, 2018, 11:35:59 pm »

Your mixer is a good, solid analog mixer, don't base the quality or your entire system on just the mixer since it is the newest piece.

Your system still needs gone through, every input to output all the way up to the speakers just to see how it's really configured, what is working, what is kind of working, what is dead and the rigging.

So we just did the band rehearsal. Keyboard with two outputs to two direct boxes, bass also DI, two guitars each miked with an SM57, and the drummer with the PGA Shure drum mikes. We could only use one overhead because we ran out of boom stands - we'll have to get a few more of those. Four wireless vocal mikes.

What a bunch of fun that was. Setting it up was a bit of a pain, and early on there were a few points where we were just short of feedback, but I lowered the monitors a bit and that took care of it. I'm not sure why though, since the monitors were placed pretty carefully with respect to the mikes.

It all sounded pretty good. The few people who came said that it sounded fine. The band manager was ok with it. We got better as the night went on, using PFL to listen to each channel and maybe tweak it a bit.

I did try bypassing the equalizer for the main speakers and that was not a happy ending. There was sometimes a buzz coming from the lead guitarist's pedals and the EQ clearly suppressed that because it wasn't audible until I turned off the EQ. I'll have to play with that.


Well, that's it for tonight. Thanks to everyone for their advice.
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Patrick Tracy

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #28 on: August 03, 2018, 02:35:55 am »

I did try bypassing the equalizer for the main speakers and that was not a happy ending. There was sometimes a buzz coming from the lead guitarist's pedals and the EQ clearly suppressed that because it wasn't audible until I turned off the EQ. I'll have to play with that.

Since there are so many cuts it's going to get louder when you bypass the eq, unless the eq's gain is set to compensate.

Rob Spence

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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2018, 03:01:05 pm »

Also, if the guitar has a buzz, fix it at the guitar strip, not main eq.


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Re: Newbie Soundcraft GB4-32 questions
« Reply #29 on: August 06, 2018, 03:01:05 pm »


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